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Canadian, international students share perspectives at Remembrance Day event

Posted on 2019-11-08 in Students & Campus Life

The Computer Science Graduate Council organized an event to share the significance of Remembrance Day with the computer science department's dozens of international graduate students. (Photo: iStock)

By Chris Putnam

As he settled into his first term as a University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate student this fall, Noah Orensa was curious about the red poppies he saw pinned to Canadians’ jackets.

“I started reading up on Remembrance Day when I saw that,” said Orensa, a master’s student in the Department of Computer Science who is originally from Egypt.

Although he did not grow up in Canada, Orensa found his views on war were similar to those of Canadians.

“It doesn’t matter which country you’re from, it’s always the same thing. Everyone can relate to that kind of discussion,” he said.

Orensa plans to attend an event hosted by the Computer Science Graduate Council (CSGC) on the afternoon of Nov. 8.

Peggy Anderson
Peggy Anderson is the vice-president social of the Computer Science Graduate Council. (Photo: submitted)

Held at 3 pm in Arts 214 on campus, the event will feature guest presentations about the significance of Remembrance Day by faculty members Dr. Cheryl Troupe (PhD) and Dr. Alessio Ponzio (PhD) of the Department of History.

Computer science master’s student Peggy Anderson led the organizing of the event in her role as the CSGC’s vice-president social.

“The Department of Computer Science has over 100 grad students, and most of them are international students,” Anderson said. “We thought this would be a cool way to help them learn about the significance of this holiday for Canada, so we then asked the history department to join us.”

Anderson describes herself as a “Canadian military brat.” Her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents all served in the Canadian Armed Forces, so Remembrance Day was an important part of her upbringing.

“It feels like it’s a connection that I have with my dad, and I find history really interesting as well.”

Anderson said the afternoon event is also meant as an opportunity for her and other Canadian students to learn more about the impact of wars on the home countries of their international peers.

Students across campus are invited to attend.

Orensa isn’t sure whether he will share his own perspective during the discussion, but he thinks it will be valuable even to “just go there and listen.”

“Reading is one thing, but hearing someone from the country speak about the significance of the day is a lot different,” Orensa said.


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